Company in Dubai

The United Arab Emirates is a jurisdiction
with Exceptionally Advantageous Tax Regimes

Bookmark This Page

UAE RAK and Dubai Company Formation – Facts

UAE RAK and Dubai Company Formation – Facts

UAE RAK and Dubai Company Formation fully licensed corporate service providers, part of an international professional network, and will help you form and operate your UAE Company in RAK, Dubai and the entire UAE. We will help you select the right type of company and licence in the right location and deal with all the bureaucracy and red tape for you as well as deal with accounting, bookeeping, VAT, Tax, Visa, banking and other needs. We will help you capitalise on the UAE tax and other advantages. Contact us to help you enter the UAE market.​

  1. The Advantages of Setting-up a Company in the UAE! Incorporating a Company in Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) or in other Emirates of the UAE
  1. Steps to UAE Company Set-Up – The UAE Company Formation Process (Incorporation and Registration) in the UAE – Dubai, RAK and Other Emirates
  1. The Choices of Legal Entities in the UAE! Types of Companies that Are Available
  1. UAE RAK and Dubai Company Formation – Other practical Information
  1. UAE RAK and Dubai Company Formation – Frequently Asked Questions

Email Us Now! … To Start the UAE Company Formation Process

Prices and Start-Up Packages:Fees for the First Year and Subsequent Years
RAK ICC Offshore Company Registration for $99Company Formation Fees and Annual Fees
Dubai or RAK Free Zone Company Formation for $1.450Incorporation Fees and Annual Running Fees
UAE VAT, Tax, Accounting and Other FeesFees for Other Services
Click Here For 5 Steps Dubai, RAK And UAE Company FormationEmail us Now to Get Quotation

1. Incorporating a Company in Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) or in other Emirates of the UAE – The Advantages of Setting-up a Company in the UAE!

UAE RAK and Dubai Company Formation – Tax Advantages and Company Uses

Some of the Important Advantages of the UAE …

  • 0% income tax
  • 0% import and excise duties
  • 0% tax on sales, wealth or capital
  • 100% ownership by foreigners
  • 100% free repatriation of profits
  • 0% “surprises” / restrictions
  • Friendly and advantageous tax and commercial regime with low or preferably no personal and corporate taxes and with 100% free repatriation, without restrictions

Use of UAE corporate structures to invest, set up or relocate to the UAE

The Emirates do not need formal introductions…

The Emirates Ras Al Khaimah / Dubai are not tax heavens but big and powerful International Financial Centers and International Business Centers with important motives for investors many of which maintain real presence with property and personnel in Free Zones.

  • The United Arab Emirates have entered into a large number of avoidance of double tax treaties which has upgraded their position as the “Switzerland of the East”.
  • Use of company with bank account for anonymous and safe keeping of additional company reserves and/or supply with personal capital
  • Use as a parent company of a Cyprus or Maltese company or company of another country which will accumulate the dividends / available cash
  • Use as an independent company for the provision of services and to invoice Cyprus or Maltese companies or companies of another country and collect the amount of invoices in Dubai
  • Use as an agent of a Cyprus or Maltese company or company of another country for collections / payments
  • Use of a company in Ras Al Khaimah, through the opening of a branch or tax representative / VAT representative, in Malta or Cyprus with registration in the European VAT records to undertake intra community trade of goods with 0% income tax in Malta / Cyprus and the Emirates (with no transactions in Malta or Cyprus)
  • Use of a Ras Al Khaimah company for international trade of goods and services with 0% tax
  • Use of a Ras Al Khaimah company for portfolio investments, ownership and operation of immoveable property, holding, royalty, shipping and many other activities.

Email Us Now! … To Start the UAE Company Formation Process

The UAE Commercial Infrastructure and Economic Advantage

  • Safe, sound and developed economy with significant natural resources and huge state liquid reserves and with significant growth prospects – UAE is the 14th largest economy in the world having the 5th largest oil reserves and notably the reserves of the emirate of Abu Dhabi alone amount to over 1 trillion USD$!
  • Currency preferably pegged to the US dollar to eliminate currency risks (at a rate of 3.67 AED to 1 USD$)
  • A real business hub with significant commercial activity (not just a small island or state with just p.o. box / brass plated companies with no local presence or interests), abundance of top-end office space, abundance of staff and executives at all levels for employment
  • World class health system
  • Plenty of top international schools and universities at all levels
  • Advanced telecommunications
  • Air connections via a world-class airport with significant direct flight potential acting as a transit hub, at a convenient geographical position between the old and the new world
  • A convenient time-zone for business and finance

UAE Double Tax Treaties

The UAE has entered into tax treaties with several countries, some of them with good tax planning value.

Offshore companies have no access to the treaties but free zone companies do (tax resident).

Tax treaties signed by UAE may have little significance from the UAE tax perspective as a UAE tax liability is fixed.

The taxes paid in the UAE can be claimed as credit in the home country of the foreign company depending on the double taxation avoidance agreements (DTAA) and the domestic laws of that country.

The tax treaties for the United Arab Emirates are as follows:

  • Algeria
  • France
  • Mongolia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Armenia
  • Georgia
  • Indonesia
  • Sudan
  • Austria
  • Germany
  • Morocco
  • Syria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Greece
  • Mozambique
  • Tajikistan
  • Belarus
  • Indonesia
  • Netherlands
  • Thailand
  • Belgium
  • Ireland
  • New Zealand
  • Tunisia
  • Bosnia Herzegovina
  • Italy
  • Pakistan
  • Turkey
  • Bulgaria
  • Kazakhstan
  • Philippines
  • Turkmenistan
  • Canada
  • Korea
  • Poland
  • Ukraine
  • China
  • Lebanon
  • Portugal
  • Uzbekistan
  • Cyprus
  • Luxembourg
  • Romania
  • Venezuela
  • Czech Republic
  • Malaysia
  • Seychelles
  • Vietnam
  • Egypt
  • Malta
  • Singapore
  • Yemen
  • Finland
  • Mauritius
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom

Accounting, Audit and Reporting Requirements

Accounting, Reporting, Audit

Offshore Companies need to keep books of account and prepare financial statements but no audited financial statements are required.

Free Zone Companies Companies need to keep books of account and prepare financial statements AND audited financial statements.

2. The UAE Company Formation Process (Incorporation and Registration) in the UAE – Dubai, RAK and Other Emirates – Steps to UAE Company Set-Up


RAK and Dubai Offshore Companies are used for international trading and holding but with local access to bank accounts and real estate ownership

UAE Offshore Companies – the cheaper UAE alternative – are only allowed international (non-UAE) activities, of almost any kind in the same legal – company entity (in the UAE they can only have a bank account, hold shares in other UAE

Offshore or Free Zone Companies and own UAE real estate).

These are non-tax resident entities and cannot enjoy UAE tax treaty benefits and do not entitle owners or managers to a UAE Residents VISA. As such they are cheaper. Compared to other offshore companies in other jurisdictions they are considered as significantly more prestigious as they do not appear on international black lists, give access to anonymous banking – no international information exchange agreements – without problems, for the company and its owners (non UAE companies e.g. Seychelles, BVI or UK companies experience considerable delays, costs and difficulties in opening a bank account in the UAE) and benefit from well capitalised and solid banks operating in a sound economic environment.

Application / Registration / Licensing Process:

Simple application to the authorities requiring only activity, bank references, passport copies and utility bills for the ultimate beneficial owners / shareholders.

Bank accounts (see also below notes on UAE bank accounts) – need for a physical visit to the UAE for bank interview and application submission – 2 days timeline after submission


1st year – $1,776 (our fees: $99 for formation + $995 for 1st year annual fees + government fees $682)

2nd and subsequent years – $1,540 (our fees $995 + government fees $545)


UAE Local Free Zone Limited Liability Companies (‘Free Zone Companies’) – used for local trading in Free Zone Areas (not in all the UAE) AND internationally as well as real estate ownership

UAE Free Zone Companies enjoy ALL the benefits and are allowed ALL the functions of offshore entities (see above) with the only major differences and added advantages being:

  • Activities are restricted to the scope of a specific license type applied for – services, trading etc. – and cannot do all in one – license fees apply from $5,000 p.a.
  • A fixed place of business – office or cheap flexi-desk from $1,400 p.a. – must be used with full virtual offices as well.
  • Entitlement to a 3-year investor visa and ‘Emirates ID’ for each investor (inc. spouses and dependants).
  • These are onshore tax resident status with access to tax treaties and issue of certificate of tax residence.
  • They can trade with other Free Zone companies within their Free Zones or with companies in other UAE Free Zones, as well as internationally.
  • A license is issued at ANY Free Zone Authority of choice and this entitles trading with Free Zone Companies in all the Emirates. Additionally branches or subsidiaries of this FZ company can be set up in any other Free Zone area if a physical presence is required in more than one Free Zone.
  • They cannot trade outside the Free Zones, within the UAE. If services are bought or sold outside the UAE the Free Zone Company is appropriate for this activity.

Application / Registration / Licensing Process:

Simple application to the authorities (Requiring only activity, bank references, passport copies and utility bills for the ultimate beneficial owners / shareholders AND managers).

Name approval required first – +/- 2 days

Then licensing approval is required (business plan is required to be submitted). This can take some time depending on specific activity / project / circumstances – approximately 1 month.

Company registration follows (post-licensing approval). Need for physical visit to sign Memorandum of Association.

Bank accounts (see also below notes on UAE bank accounts) – need for a physical visit to the UAE for bank interview and application submission – 2 days timeline after submission

Residence VISA for owners AND staff (number of staff depends on size of space / premises opted for) can be processed. One week timeline, approximately and need for physical visit and medical tests. Can be combined with ‘bank account’ visit.

Emirates ID is given after 30 days from visa approval.

Fees and Costs for a small company with minimum space requirements:

1st year – $8,350 (our fees: $1,450 for formation, licensing and first year + fees + government fees $5,500 + premises cost $1,400). RESIDENCE VISA – optional: $5,000 per person = our fees $3,000+ government disbursements $2,000

2nd and subsequent years – $5,200 (our fees $1,450 + government fees $2,350 + premises cost $1,400)

Work involved in the set up stage:

  • Application and contact / representation for license
  • Registered Agent Services
  • Process and liaise with Property Departments regarding requirement for Land / Premises (Minima apply)
  • Consulting work on Memorandum of Association and Shareholder Agreements
  • RAKIA License and Land fees (depends on case / licence type)


UAE Limited Liability Companies (‘LLC’s) – for unlimited UAE and international market access

If local UAE market access is required then an ‘LLC’ is the suitable vehicle which is the same as a Free Zone company EXCEPT with 51% of the shares owned by locals (and additionally a requirement for a pre-approval to be issued by The Department of Economic Development and The Ministry of Economy). 

For this purpose (buying and selling inside the UAE) a local LLC is needed with a local sponsor (shareholder) which – using our strong local contacts and our Chairman’s recommendation eliminates all risks in trusting unknown parties. The result is that the local sponsor ends up with no control, no right to the 51% dividends which are LEGALLY waived in return for an agreed fee / or percentage return.

Benefit: Beneficial Owner is shown to be a local person.

Application / Registration / Licensing Process:

Same as Free Zone Companies except – in addition – an additional (1) pre-approval process at the Investment Authority necessitating an ‘approval’ at The Department of Economic Development and The Ministry of Economy and (2) Shareholder agreements to enable the appointment and govern relationship with the local sponsor.

Bank accounts (see also below notes on UAE bank accounts– same as for Free Zone companies.

Residence VISA for owners AND staff (number of staff depends on size of space / premises opted for) – same as for Free Zone companies.

Emirates ID – same as for Free Zone companies.

Fees and Costs for a small company with minimum space requirements– excluding sponsorship fees and any special conditions / costs that the Authority might apply depending on project:

1st year – $4,950 (our fees for formation, licensing and first year). RESIDENCE VISA – optional: $5,000 per person = our fees $3,000+ government disbursements $2,000. Premises costs assigned by authority separately upon agreement.

2nd and subsequent years – $4,950 (our fees)

Fees and Costs for Offshore and Free Zone Companies

(fees for our services in connection with the incorporation of companies or the preparation of an application and support for the opening of bank accounts – does not include VAT or disbursements or additional fees for the certification of documents or issue of documents or additional work other than the usual which may be requested by the banks according to the relevant case.)

Billing is in USD$.

Fees and costs (premises / license fees) necessary for set up and licensing

Offshore (RAK) Company in Ras Al Khaimah (0% tax) with bank account (the recommended, most suitable, more practical and less time consuming solution of all) – Our Fees for this structure assuming we do not act as officers of the company but only as registered agent / office are USD$ 99 in the first year including company formation, full pre and post incorporation structuring and first year registered agent/office fees (USD$1200).

EXTRA costs will be bank account introduction and application support fees of $345 per account introduced.

Cheaper “Package deals” are possible after exact requirements of corporate structures are known to us.

Free Zone – Costs and fees for this structure depend on the choice of free zone and corporate structure and type and complexity of licensing.

All other work, as requested: on a time basis with an average hourly rate of USD$195 per hour.

A very popular structure combining offshore with free zone companies is to first set up offshore co (e.g. in RAK) and then use THAT to be the holding co of a free zone onshore co in any free zone of choice.

Result: anonymity PLUS 3 year investor visa PLUS onshore tax resident status with access to tax treaties and issue of certificate of tax residence.

3. Types of Companies that Are Available – The Choices of Legal Entities in the UAE!

UAE RAK and Dubai Company Formation – Types of Companies Available to Foreign Investors

Within each Free Zone there are 2 types of entities: Offshore and Onshore / Free Zone.

In the case of Onshore / Free Zone type, generally there are:

  • Free Zone Companies “FZ CO”,
  • Branches of Foreign Companies or Companies in other Free Zones and
  • Free Zone Establishments “FZE” (unlimited liability personal establishment / one shareholder)

Costs vary from Free Zone to Free Zone with the cheapest being RAK Free Zone.

Offshore Companies (Ltd companies)

Note that only some Free Zones have the offshore company option.

  • Ras Al Khaimah Offshore Company (“RAK Offshore”) at the RAK Free Zone in Ras Al Khaimah Emirate (40” drive from Dubai), the Regulatory Authority being RAK Investment Authority (“RAKIA”), which also regulates Licensed Corporate Services Providers, such as ourselves. No details of beneficial owners are required / anonymity. This is a better, cheaper and more flexible regime for Offshore Companies.
  • Jebel Ali Offshore Company at the Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai, the Regulatory Authority being the Jebel Ali Free Zone

Authority (“JAFZA”). Details and bank references of beneficiaries are submitted to the authority.

Popular structure for Free Zone Companies

A very popular structure is to first set up offshore co (e.g. in RAK) and then use THAT to be the holding co of a free zone onshore co in any free zone of choice. Result: anonymity PLUS 3 year investor visa PLUS onshore tax resident status with access to tax treaties and issue of certificate of tax residence.

Costs and fees for this structure start from 31.000 USD$ (euro: 23.000) in the first year and 17.000 $USD (euro: 12.500) in subsequent years.

Advantages of a Free Zone Company compared to an Offshore Company

  • Entitlement to a 3-year investor visa for each investor (and dependants)
  • Onshore tax resident status with access to tax treaties and issue of certificate of tax residence
  • Commercial and economic substance which is VERY useful for tax planning: real presence (with premises, staff and equipment – ‘flexi office’ with virtual office permitted for a low annual cost – apprx. 1.000 Euro per year) in an organised market / free zone with local presence among other active companies. Added commercial substance also if we opt for specialised free zones in the specific field of our activity (e.g a media company operating in “Media City” Free Zone where hundreds of companies in that sector are established and operating). Surely this is better that a P.O. Box address in an empty apartment in Malta or Cyprus.
  • Perfect if the client also wants to move out of EU and also live in Dubai and pay no tax (non EU tax resident = best and most effective tax planning nowadays)

Why do we prefer RAK Offshore and RAK Free Zone Companies

(Note: We are authorised and in a position set up structures in ALL regimes / Free Zones)

  • Its offshore regime is the best in UAE as it was allowed to give total confidentiality (100% anonymity and no disclosure of UBO to authorities) and minimum rules / restrictions and maximum flexibility as this is a developing, poorer, emirate so to boost its growth – offshore company set up costs are the lowest and quick / simple procedures
  • The set up cost and cost of operation of its free zone companies per year is the LOWEST in the UAE
  • Note here that in some cases we choose and set up a different Free Zone because of commercial reasons, usually the existence of a special free zone to exactly match the type of the client’s business. For example Hedge Funds in the DIFC, Gold traders in the DMCC etc.

Can FBS set up UAE offshore companies and ALL forms of companies AT ALL THE FREE ZONES?

Yes, we have all necessary regulatory licenses and expertise.

List of UAE RAK and Dubai Free Zones

UAE Free Zones – Extensive Information and Facts

Below is a list of Free Zones in the UAE where investors have a choice to set up and enjoy significant tax, commercial and personal advantages.

The choice will depend on the specific activities of investors, locality, investor intentions, costs and personal preference.

To help your choice you can:

And then….

ASK our local office for expert advice!

List of Free Zones in the UAE

There are more than 38 Free Zones operating in UAE.

Free Zones Under Development

  • Dubai Carpet Free Zone
  • Dubai Auto Parts City
  • Heavy Equipment and Trucks Zone
  • Mohammad Bin Rashid Technology Park
  • Dubai Flower Center
  • Dubai Textile Village
  • Ras Al Khaimah Media Free Zone

3-Year Investor Residence Visas

Two ways exist to obtain the UAE investor visa are:

  • one of which is creating your own UAE free zone company. This means that you don’t have to buy a property to gain a visa
  • or investing in a UAE real estate. This enables you also to receive a fantastic rental yield and take advantage of the capital appreciation which is exceptionally healthy in Dubai and the UAE in general in 2013.

UAE Residence Visa – 3 year Investor Visa

This means you can stay in the UAE for a period of 3yrs renewable and as long as you do not leave the country for more than 6 months then your visa will not expire. The UAE Free Trade Zone is your visa and will state owner, partner or investor as the designation.

This Visa also allows you to sponsor family members (even step children) and by liaising with the immigration office and issuing the copy of your Free Zone Trade License you can then determine the visa status. By submitting the application form, passport photos, passport copy and visa entry stamp the process can begin with the immigration office.

Once the documents have been submitted a Pink Slip is issued which is the 60 day employment visa and then a medical will have to be completed along with fingerprint records.

The process can all be achieved by a representative at the immigration office and they can guide along the way to ensure the result transforms into a UAE visa.

UAE System, Laws and Regulations for Foreign Investors, Permitted Activities

What in simple terms is the basic structure of the system in the UAE relating to companies (Free Zone or Offshore) operated by foreign investors, who are Non-UAE nationals, and their operation?

Rationale relating to initiatives given to foreign investors

The Free Zone system was “built” in a certain way in order to facilitate the operations of foreign investors (“non-UAE nationals”) and provide initiatives to (1) set up operate businesses in Dubai in dedicated Free Zones which provide unparalleled infrastructure and (2) allow multi-year residence visas to investors and their foreign staff BUT at the same time, reasonably, “protect” the local market from a sudden and large-scale “invasion” by foreigners who at the moment can trade freely internationally, within companies in their Free Zones or with companies in other UAE Free Zones and across Free Zones in general.

Having said that, it IS possible to trade in the UAE but with conditions. Either via a UAE limited liability company having 51% local stake (but can be structured so the local party has no management rights and practically restricted dividends) OR through a local commercial agent (not recommended) OR a service agent for professional firms (recommended).

This, reasonably, is to give time to local infrastructure, business and human capital ample time to develop in order to compete at par with foreigners before opening the local economy fully or more at least. Significant steps in that direction are taken every year (lately allowing freehold ownership by foreigners in designated areas and other significant initiatives).

Laws and Regulations in the UAE for Foreign Investor Companies

There is the Federal Law which applies to all 7 Emirates and supersedes the “domestic” laws of each emirate. In addition within each emirate there are Free Zones which have their own laws and regulations which might be different from UAE laws (and from Free Zone to Free Zone they may differ but many elements are common) as they are structured to facilitate business for foreigners. For example in DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre – the Financial Services Free Zone) English law was adopted as the prevailing law, in order to facilitate these activities!

Permitted type of activities

This is not like Malta or Cyprus where the Articles of association / laws allow many activities in ONE company. Activity licensing for each entity mentioned above is as follows:

(a) For a free zone company ONE must get A TRADE license for EACH ONE activity e.g. consulting OR trading etc. and holding shares or participating in ventures is allowed.

(b) For offshore companies many activities are allowed for one company

Restricted activities for offshore are:

  • Financial – Aviation- Media – precious metals- oil and gas

As accepted ones are :

  • Business and Management consultancy
  • General Trading
  • Holding companies and holding shares in other companies in the UAE or outside
  • Trading (Shall be specified)
  • Owning Free hold properties

Accounting, Reporting, Audit

Offshore Companies need to keep books of account and prepare financial statements but no audited financial statements are required.

Free Zone Companies Companies need to keep books of account and prepare financial statements AND audited financial statements.

Investment restrictions

Islam forbids gambling in any form. Consequentially, derivatives, forwards, options and futures are prohibited. Other forbidden practices include short selling, margin, and scalping trading. Day trading is considered akin to maisir. Marketable securities generally have a multi-day settlement period, during which time the underlying instruments, while cleared, are not formally registered in the name of the purchaser. As day traders do not wait for settlement to complete, they are using a type of credit cushion provided by their broker.[3] Day traders also very commonly rely on a margin account to finance their trading activity.

The payment or receipt of interests are considered usury and unjust. Debt is also disapproved making investments in highly leveraged companies unacceptable. Funds cannot pay fixed or guaranteed return on capital. Instead of borrowing and lending, Islamic finance relies on sharing the ownership of the assets and therefore risk and profit/loss. Companies involved in prohibited business activities cannot be part of a Shariah fund strategy. Prohibited business activities can relate to food (production and sales of alcoholic beverages including pubs and restaurants, pork products, tobacco), gambling (casinos, on-line gambling, betting, lottery schemes), adult oriented (video, magazines, on-line material, strip clubs), dubious, immoral and illicit trades (prostitution, drugs).

Can FZ or UAE Offshore Companies trade within the UAE or hold shares in other UAE companies? Are there any restrictions?

Companies with Trade or Industrial licenses can only conduct business within the Free Zone or abroad.

To sell their products in the UAE, they should

(a) use an UAE official agent. Usually 5% duty for “export” within the UAE. But services and products can be obtained from and within the UAE without one.


(b) set up a UAE LLC (Limited liability company) which needs to have a 51% local stakeholder – can be arranged but have to pay fees for this local “sponsor” for facilitation

UAE Free zone companies in one free zone can trade with companies inside that free zone or with companies in any other UAE free zone AND internationally with foreign companies but not inside UAE (outside free zones) or with UAE residents.

UAE Offshore and Free Zone companies can have shares in other UAE companies, Free Zone or Offshore.

UAE Offshore companies can trade or internationally but not inside UAE or with UAE residents.

Important – Restrictions:

The restrictions on UAE offshore and onshore / free zone companies DO NOT apply to their foreign subsidiaries which are not bound by UAE rules and can operate freely according to the laws of the other country!

4. UAE RAK and Dubai Company Formation – Other practical Information

RAK (UAE) Welcomes Applications to Re-Domicile Companies From Other Countries to the UAE

The UAE (RAK Free Zone) in a pioneering move has just put in place legislation and procedures and now the Registrar is inviting applications from Companies registered outside the UAE (Cyprus, Malta, UK, BVI, Seychelles and any other country) to re-domicile / continue (transfer their seat) their operations in the UAE.

So it is NOW possible – instead of ‘closing’ your existing company to actually ‘move’ and continue operating your company to/from the UAE as a UAE company without any other changes to its legal status as a corporate entity and open bank accounts in the UAE.

Fees & Costs

Redomiciliation and bank accounts – $9,750

Annual Fees & Government Costs – $2750

Please find below the procedure required for Re-domiciliation.

Before you proceed, please do check to ensure that the jurisdiction in which the Company is established has provision for allowing redomiciliation/transfer out of companies.

Some jurisdictions do not permit transfer out/redomiciliation of companies.

Apart from the checklist we require the following documents to be notarised:

  1.  Shareholders resolution stating the decision on transfer of domicile and approving the new version of company’s MOA/AOA
  2.  Affidavit made by the director (authorized by the Board of directors) /all directors of the foreign company

FYI – Affidavit to include the following:

    • Current company name of the foreign company and the name under which the company will continue in RAKFTZ
    • Country of jurisdiction where the foreign company is registered
    • Date of registration of the foreign company
    • Approval of the new version of Company’s MOA/AOA
    • Confirming the financial good standing and solvency of the foreign company
    • That the foreign company gave an official notice according to the laws of the country of jurisdiction as to its decision to be re-domiciled
    • That no criminal or administrative procedures have been commenced against the foreign company for infringement of the law of the country of registration
  1.  If the foreign company’s shareholder is a corporate shareholder then we require corporate shareholders resolution on such decision of Re-Domiciliation

*If one of the director(s) / shareholder(s) represents the corporate shareholder then we require – Members Resolution on appointing authorized signatory for the corporate shareholder

  1.  If the signing of new MOA/AOA is not witnessed by the registered agent then these documents are to be notarised
Continuation – Transfer In
Documents Required
1.Consent from Jurisdiction to re-domicile to RAK

2. Application for Consent – duly completed

3. Certified/Notarized Resolution of the Shareholders consenting for the transfer of domicile of the company

Notarised Original
4. Certificate of Incorporation/Registration of the company

Attested by the agent(Affix stamp & signature)
5. Certificate of Good Standing of the company

Attested by the agent
6. Certificate of Incumbency

Attested by the agent
7. Memorandum & Articles of Association of the company

Attested by the agent
8. List of Members(Shareholders)/Directors of the company

Current dated attested by the Registrar at the seat of incorporation
9. Due Diligence Documents for the Shareholder(s)

  • Passport copy, CV, Bank Reference, Utility Bill

Not older than 3 months
10. Passport copy of the Director(s) & Secretary

11. New set of Continued Memorandum & Articles of Association- Directors resolution stating that the proposed new M&A have been approved by majority of Directors

Witnessed and attested by the agent or if not witnessed by agent then requires to be notarised
12. A Certificate (Schedule 5) signed by Registered Agent

  • Template provided SCHEDULE ONE: REGISTERED AGENT’S CERTIFICATE of the IC Transfer of Domicile Regulations 2009Page 13

Template is included in the regulations
13. Copy of Notice to all Shareholders – 14 days prior to application (if applicable)

14. Written Consent for application from holders if charges (if applicable)

15. Certification of solvency (signed by the Directors) OR Audited Accounts (by Company’s auditors)- Document stating that the Company is not for any reason disqualified from continuing in RAK

16. Evidence of Advertising:

  • UAE – 1 English newspaper & 1 Arabic newspaper
  • 1 newspaper in country from current jurisdiction
  • Template of Notice provided in SCHEDULE THREE: NEWSPAPER NOTICE FOR CONTINUATION IN THE ZONE of the IC Transfer of Domicile Regulations 2009 – Page 14

Bank account opening conditions / facts / practicalities that apply mainly to UAE Offshore Companies OR ‘non-resident personal accounts’ of individuals without a UAE resident visa (n.b. Free Zone Shareholders do get a residence visa as opposed to offshore company shareholders and themselves and their companies do not suffer increased / enhanced due diligence procedures by local banks)

UAE bank account opening for offshore companies is a simple process but, as the UAE wants to protect its image as a financial center as well as its advantages, there are some conditions:

  • Client (UBO) must come to the UAE for a personal meeting with the bank to open a corporate and a personal account (we arrange the bank introductions) and satisfy the bank they are serious and professional and their companies will have specific activities (not more than one or two is recommended)
  • There is a minimum balance that must be kept in these accounts at all times (from $10,000 to $100,000 depending on the bank)
  • Proper and extensive KYC and due diligence to international standards are performed by all banks as part of the account opening process

Currently we cooperate with government majority-owned banks RECCOMMENDED by the RAK Investment Authorities to which we can introduce you and your business:

Mashreq Bank ( – Mashreq has provided banking and financial services to millions of customers and businesses since 1967. Mashreq is one of UAE’s leading financial institutions with a growing retail presence in the region including Egypt, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain. Mashreq is invariably among the highest performing banks in the Region.

Habib Bank ( – Operating since 1841 with strong presence in ALL major financial centers like Switzerland and Luxembourg, flexible, very confidential understands the offshore business very well and we maintain a close contact with.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank ( – one of the biggest and safest banks in the world … but slow in account opening like all big banks with a liking for bigger amounts of deposits and tough due diligence and the occasional rejections). However for free zone companies the process is a lot quicker.

Bank accounts take about a week after application and documentation is submitted to the bank.

Most clients prefer to apply to two (2) banks to minimize the chance of occasional rejection and also have a wider choice to decide which bank will suit their needs.

Bank account introductions and arrangement of meetings cost from $545 per bank per account. 25% discount applies if 2 banks are applied for.

Alternative solution for clients that do not require a UAE bank account for their UAE Offshore Company: Opening of a Cyprus Bank Account

On the negative side, we site the disadvantages of banking in the EU as mentioned in our previous newsletters. However, for smaller amounts (<$100,000) this should not be a major issue.

Confidential Banking and Banks in the Dubai

Anonymity / confidentiality of beneficial owners

Here is a list of benefits of the UAE relating to SAFE and confidential banking in a rich and economically stable country with huge financial (and oil) reserves.

  • 14th largest economy in the world having the 5th largest oil reserves and notably the reserves of the emirate of Abu Dhabi alone amount to over 1 trillion USD$!
  • FULL confidentiality for beneficial owners at banks and the authorities and NO information exchange agreements with any other country. Do we disclose UBO details / identity to the authorities? In RAK we do not! (the reason for choosing RAK) in Jebel Ali (Dubai) we do and authorities need bank ref of UBO! To the banks? Yes as a general rule we disclose BUT there are no information exchange agreements
  • Solid bank confidentiality with NO exchange of information agreements with any country
  • The emirates have not signed exchange of information treaties with any nation, not even the European Union
  • Many safe, adequately capitalized and solid banks with 100% government guarantees for the total value of the deposits and strict rules for anonymity / confidentiality.
  • Banks which allow the possibility of easy and non time consuming opening procedures and the option possibly of the client not being required to go to the country in person as well as the possibility of opening of a trading account / current account which allow frequent movements and not only investment accounts which are for few movements
  • Political and financially powerful and independent countries with no geopolitical risk which can withstand effectively against EU type attacks which are or possible outside Europe and which are not connected, dependant or in the same geographic region with Europe or America
  • A country with no currency control restrictions or limitations in the movement of capital and/or possibly without / little restrictions in cash withdrawal (withdrawal 100.000 euro from the till is not unusual)
  • Does not appear on any “black list”. It is on the “white list” of the OECD, FATF and EU and is not subject to the sizable pressures that weaker states face only to the extent of keeping of strict internal procedures for control and not exchange of information
  • Mature, safe and well capitalised and regulated banking sector
  • Existence of strong local banks without reliance from outside for business and preferably no foreign branches outside the Gulf Region
  • Banking system that allows 24/7 online transfer capability without limit (!) and capability for large cash withdrawals
  • A system that is controlled effectively by wise rulers so that it is not abused by large numbers just to get advantages without having REAL economic and commercial substance and economic contribution to that country
  • A system that has solid anti-money laundering regimes with rigorous due diligence procedures (know your client and know your client business) procedures from banks and corporate service providers and discouragement in opening personal or corporate bank accounts with parties that have no real personal or business interest locally

Which bank do you recommend?

Preferable strong / solid local banks for confidentiality with no major EU presence (so they cannot be blackmailed) – foreign banks keep transactions booked in the EU (!) and practically they may exchange information. We can recommend a number of safe banks.

List of Dubai Banks – not exhaustive:

1. National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah (RAKBank)

2. First Gulf Bank

3. Emirates Islamic Bank

4. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

5. Dubai Islamic Bank

6. National Bank of Dubai

7. Mashreq Bank

8. Lloyds TSB Bank

9. Commercial Bank of Dubai

10. Al Hilal Bank

11. Noor Islamic Bank

12. Barclays

13. Commercial Bank International

14. Citibank

15. Emirates Bank International / meBank

16. National Bank of Abu Dhabi

17. Standard Chartered Bank

18. HSBC Bank Middle East

19. National Bank of Sharjah

20. Union National Bank

21. Dubai Bank

22. Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) (formerly ABN Amro)

23. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank

24. Al Masraf

25. Doha Bank

26. National Bank of Umm Al Quwain


28. Bank of Sharjah

29. United Bank Limited

What do you recommend relating to Bank account opening?

Recommended / are more popular, easy, fast and practical – the incorporation of a new company with bank account and beneficial owner – natural person (not subsidiary of a foreign company – as a second stage changes can be made to accomplish this if we prefer) instead of the opening of an account of a natural person or foreign company, which although not recommended by the Authorities and the banks for risk management purposes, with the introduction of time consuming and high cost procedures.

Current accounts or Private Banking/Brokerage accounts possible with funds transfer facilities and cash withdrawals with NO LIMITS


UAE company (offshore or FZ) – no problem / cheaper / better.

Personal accounts – no problem BUT client must attend bank interview at the UAE.

Foreign company (BVI, Seychelles, Cyprus or Malta) – no problem but time consuming PLUS high cost of document attestations / certifications.

Fees and Costs for Dubai Bank Accounts

Fees for opening bank accounts in the UAE and other international financial centres?

Ras Al Khaimah / Dubai Bank Account

Opening of UAE corporate account for a foreign entity – a Cyprus, Maltese or Seychelles company or other offshore or foreign company:

On hourly charge of $195 / hour and minimum fee USD$ 1.900

However it is not recommended (preferable to open a new UAE company with a bank account – $345):

  • Banks and authorities are suspicious of foreign companies with no business activities in the UAE and the compliance / control is stricter
  • Because the UAE do not recognise the Hague Convention and as a result do not accept international certifications for documents by apostille and the certification procedure is expensive and time consuming (certification of each document by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UAE Embassy and then Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dubai! The cost amounts to a few thousand euros)
  • If the company is old and needs audited financial statements and timely review for its affairs. Also for reasons of protection from money laundering, the restraints of Islamic law and their image, the authorities of the Emirates actively refrain and thus we recommend instead the opening of a Ras Al Khaimah company with bank account

Opening of personal bank account (natural persons):


  • Banks and authorities are suspicious of foreign individuals with no personal interests in the UAE (e.g. real estate) or business interests (UAE company) and the compliance / control is stricter.
  • But also see above for complicated / costly document certification or need to personally travel to Dubai we we can introduce you to the bank’s officers.
  • Simpler and more economical is the opening of a Ras Al Khaimah company with bank account.

Virtual office service (phone answering in the name of the company, receipt of mail and much more) and physical office – for information and fee quotes please contact us

Relocation support services for natural persons – for information and fee quotes please contact us

Holding activities

Aim: To eliminate or minimize – among others – dividend, interest, royalty withholding taxes as well as capital gains taxes at the level of the subsidiary as imposed by local tax law in the country of tax residence of the subsidiary. In this sense tax leakages are optimally minimized. To do that – tax minimization – the holding company (recipient/owner of dividends etc.) must have access to the double tax treaty between the country of the holding and that of the subsidiary. In turn, to get this access it needs to be a tax resident company in the holding jurisdiction (such as a UAE Free Zone Company) and NOT a non-resident company (such as a UAE offshore company).

Only in cases the subsidiary is resident in a country where NO withholding taxes exist / are provided for by domestic tax law (and so a treaty is not needed to minimise taxes as there are zero withholding or capital gains taxes imposed by domestic law) would a UAE offshore company be suitable – such as Cyprus and Malta where UAE offshore companies can be used as holding companies without any problem. Moreover, one might have a 3-tier structure where UAE offshore owns Cyprus or Malta Company and in turn those own EU companies. This is a great structure as it combines BOTH treaty benefits and access to the very advantageous EU treaty directives which eliminate all withholding taxes within the EU (Parent-Subsidiary directive, Interest and Royalty directives and others).

So the choice is primarily a free zone company here which is able to obtain a ‘certificate of tax residence’, with the client / owner having a residence visa and emirates id (we can arrange easily, condition: twice a year short visits to the UAE). This can be combined, if preferred with a Cyprus or a Malta company (or not, as appropriate). Alternatively (if dividend or other withholding taxes do not exist at the subsidiary jurisdiction level) a UAE offshore company can be used without problems.

Special note: UAE holding companies – with UAE bank account – used to mitigate EU banking and financial risks UAE International Holding Companies

(Concerns mainly clients operating Malta Companies …but also Cyprus and other EU Companies or Non EU – Seychelles – Companies with bank accounts in the EU)


(scroll down for Cyprus and other EU structures)

Use of a “Double Malta-Malta” Structure (Malta Holding Company of another Malta Company – necessary to achieve the 5% effective corporate tax rate in Malta) – Recommendation / Suggestion to improve the corporate structure and avoid the EU banking and financial crisis risks.

We recommend inserting a UAE holding company ($99 SET UP FEE) “above” all existing Malta structures for the following reasons.




Cyprus and other EU Corporate structures as well as Non EU – Seychelles – Companies with bank accounts in the EU

For similar reasons (especially 2., 3. and 4.) the same is also recommended generally for other structures.

We recommend inserting a UAE holding company ($99 SET UP FEE) generally “above” all existing EU structures (or non-EU but with EU bank accounts) for the above reasons.

Trading activities

A free zone company is a very suitable and tried and tested vehicle for trading purposes (please carefully read the notes below).

We highly recommend this.

The simple free zone company with 100% ownership by foreign nationals (but ‘soon to be’ UAE residents – by virtue of the issue of residence visa and UAE ID).

Note: If an EU VAT number is required for intra EU trading this can easily – our Malta office services – be achieved / obtained by establishing a branch of the UAE Free Zone Company in Malta. Note that this has practically no tax implications as there is 0% tax in Malta for the branch’s ‘outside of Malta activities’ (foreign branches in Malta only pay tax on local – Malta – income, which is not the case for international clients.

UAE Real Estate Investments

Real Estate in the UAE offers attractive opportunities for high rental yields and capital gains in one of the most promising markets globally that has totally recovered from the global financial crisis.

The winning of the EXPO 2020 exhibition by the United Arab Emirates which is estimated by global investment banks to provide a more than 50% boost (*Barclays Investments) to the GDP of the UAE over the next 7 years … on top of a 4% a year growth. This along with local measures to ‘cool off the market’ (low loan to value ratios and increased transfer fees) should ensure minimal downside risk and healthy returns.

There are exciting opportunities for investment – please see our UAE Real Estate Investment Brochure which is attached.

Important Note: Our Firm (apart from the registered agent / corporate services official license) is also a holder – and active in – of a Real Estate Consulting Official License and able to assist you 100% in effecting your UAE Real Estate Investments.

Inheritance / Succession Considerations

Real estate purchases and other investments must be effected using UAE offshore or Free Zone Companies. It is not recommended to hold real estate or other assets / investments in person as this will lead to complications on death / succession.

Holding shares of UAE companies – even anonymously – (RAK registry is under Common Law Rules) is a risk – free and efficient way to avoid all problems are shares are transmitted automatically to the successors / heirs by the production of a Will document at the registrar of companies (alternatively or in addition pre-signed transfer documents can be given to the chosen successor)

The UAE Lifestyle Advantage

What are the necessary “personal lifestyle” characteristics of ‘A New Switzerland’ (such as Dubai) to be ideal to attract The Rich? Full advantages would continue to exist in the future for the persons with significant presence and personal and business interests locally in such a place:

  • A regime that preferably prohibits unethical and/or high risk activities such as gambling, pornography etc.
  • No social unrest, very low crime rate
  • Abundance of top-end accommodation, marinas, entertainment, super-luxury lifestyle, world-class shopping
  • A good climate preferably sunny for most of the year and at a sea coast location

Advantages of Living and Working in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates is a thriving part of the world that is playing an increasingly significant role in both international business and tourism. A huge investment, especially in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, has been made into infrastructure and today impressive skyscrapers and hotels now characterize these locations. The UAE is working towards becoming one of the top destinations in the world by 2021.

The UAE as the Ideal Expat Destination

Although the region’s economic success originally was due to its oil reserves, two decades of diversification have seen the United Arab Emirates expand to become one of the most highly-developed, fastest growing economies globally.

The boom in sectors like construction and financial services, together with amendments in the laws of foreign ownership, has resulted in many of the world’s leading companies establishing themselves in the UAE. This in turn has led to wonderful career opportunities in numerous industries for professionals wishing to relocate to this region.

The UAE leads the rest of the world by far in the net migration rate, proving that it is the first choice for professionals from a wide range of industries wishing to work overseas. New jobs are continuously created thanks to the ever increasing number of new projects.

The UAE has a very significant expat community from over 190 countries. Expatriates make up for almost 85% of the total population. The number is increasing, with many ethnic and culturally diverse groups coming to this region. Most people are friendly and willing to make new friends and, since it’s an international community, expatriates have the opportunity to make friends from all over the world.

The majority of expats are drawn here because of the tax-free lifestyle and the high standard of living in comparison to their home countries. These matched with 365 days a year of sunshine, excellent private education facilities, amazing shopping and abundant entertainment options make this a fascinating and enjoyable place in which to live.

The United Arab Emirates provides all the social and economic benefits that most people can only dream of. The UAE provides its residents security and safety together with a cosmopolitan lifestyle.

This attractive package has made the UAE a global magnet that draws people who are looking for a taste of this advanced lifestyle from all parts of the world.

Great Location

The United Arab Emirates has established itself as the ideal place to conduct business and is the perfect channel for imports and exports from the East and the West, largely due to its strategic location in the Middle East region.

The UAE is within 4 hours’ flying time from most of the world’s main business destinations including Europe, Asia and North Africa. The UAE is the perfect starting point to exotic destinations such as the neighboring Middle Eastern countries like Jordan, Syria or Egypt. Europe is not far with London only a 7 hour flight, about the same as flying to Bangkok and Singapore. You can fly from Dubai to Maldives in four hours!

Flying in to the UAE is easy and convenient. The UAE houses world-class modern airports such as the Dubai International Airport (which in 2012 was named the second busiest airport in the world), and the Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The UAE has developed an impressive infrastructure to cope with the ever increasing influx of people. Roads are well designed and maintained and road networks are continuously upgraded and expanded. Taxis are affordable and plentiful.

Emirati Culture and Values

The generosity and hospitality of Emiratis has also played an important role and has made the UAE government’s mission of transforming the country into a top global destination even easier.

The UAE, although continuing to race into the 21st century and embrace the newest global technological advancements, still manages to hang on to its cultural heritage. This, many people find, is an intriguing and exhilarating experience.

The UAE is a Muslim country with Islamic values, however other religions are permitted to be practiced and people of different religions coexist peacefully, making it one of the most liberal countries in the Middle East. For example, there is a church compound in Jebel Ali which houses Christian churches and a Sikh temple) although there is a strong warning that no evangelization is permitted.

Emiratis are well known for their hospitality and for living and working with other nationalities while remaining strongly attached to their values. The more they are open and accepting to foreign cultures the more they are proud of their identity as a nation. Emiratis are generally gracious people and it is ingrained in their culture to not make anyone lose face. This is apparent when they say “no” in such gracious ways!

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Abu Dhabi and Dubai is 38 and 42 per cent respectively less than Sydney, based on The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living survey.

The gap is smaller but is still significant for London (35 and 37 per cent respectively) and New York (27 and 30 per cent respectively).

This means that expats from the above locations will be left with more disposable income at the end of the month.

One of the biggest benefits for expats living in the UAE is that utilities are cheaper here than they are in many countries due to government subsidies on electricity, gas and water.

Housing Costs

Property costs have a major impact on the personal finances of UAE expats, just like anywhere else. In the UAE however, expatriates tend to rent high-end accommodation. Rental costs in the UAE for high-end accommodation compare favourably with those of New York, London and Sydney.

The UAE offers many housing options and wonderful expat communities, such as Al Hamra Village in Ras Al Khaimah – UAE REAL ESTATE. There you can choose from luxurious apartments and villas that boast spectacular views that you can buy or rent. Properties are mostly newly built and short-term leases are available.


There are international fast-food franchises throughout the UAE so you can eat familiar and popular food. Friday brunch is popular with expats, with hotels and restaurants offering delicious food and drink.

Anything is delivered in the UAE at all hours of the day or night, from food, dry cleaning, groceries and office supplies.

Entertainment and Nightlife

The UAE offers a dynamic lifestyle with its world-class attractions, entertainment and a superb nightlife, making it a highly desirable place to live and work in.

The nightlife scene is especially vibrant in Dubai. Nightlife starts after 9.00 pm and continues till the early hours. Internationally known entertainers and parties are advertised continuously.


There are excellent healthcare facilities and services available in the UAE with modern state-of-the art medical centres and hospitals, including a wide variety of alternative medicine centres.

Advantages of Working in the UAE

Employment Opportunities

As a relatively young economy which is advancing at a fast rate, the UAE needs to establish efficient operations in its industry sectors (especially construction, information technology, telecommunications, media, medicine, oil and gas) and is largely dependent on its expat population who can provide this expertise. This means that there are wonderful opportunities for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to set up companies or who want to work in the region. All types of services, goods and expertise are needed. Such is the health of the economy that unemployment figures fall under 2%.

Specialists with unique skills, in particular at managerial level, are offered very attractive packages.The government has also succeeded to attract foreign investors by creating many free zones for a variety of industries in order to encourage the setting up of new businesses.

Including the Middle East on your CV, which is regarded as a “difficult region” to work in, makes for a stronger CV.

Tax-Free Income

One of the major attractions for people wishing to work in the UAE is that there are no taxes on salaries. This means a much higher disposable income per capita, making the UAE a very appealing place to work in. No tax means a positive impact on the cost of items such as vehicles, electronic goods and local produce.

For most UAE expats, a tax-free income means that a big chunk of average individuals’ salaries has the potential to become savings. Most expatriates working in the UAE can live with a relatively high level of comfort and afford luxury items that they would not be able to afford in their own countries.

Employment Packages and Benefits

Most employers in the UAE offer good salary packages that include medical cover, 30 days annual leave and tickets for the employee and his/her family once a year to the home country.

Moreover, many employers offer housing allowances, schooling allowances, performance bonuses over and above salaries and flexible working hours.

In the UAE, if you have worked for over two years, a lump sum which is 15% of your yearly salary is payable to you on departure (widely known as end-of-service benefit).

A Multi-Cultural Workforce

With the growth of tourism in the UAE together with the deliberate diversification from an oil-dependent economy, the country has managed to establish itself as a foreigner-friendly destination. The very large percentage of expats from all over the world has resulted in an internationally diverse work force. This means that expats have the opportunity to gain valuable experience on an international level and establish their own network with people from all over the globe.

With a high presence of international companies based in the UAE, the exposure to high-profile projects is much greater, meaning that people are exposed to working on projects that they may never have had the chance to work on in their own countries. Work experience abroad together with the ability to work with a diverse workforce provides employees with transferrable skills that are beneficial for their careers.

English Language Widely Used

Unlike other countries where the language barrier is a major hindrance to the establishment of new overseas companies, English is used widely in the UAE and is understood and spoken by the majority of people who reside and work there. English is mainly used throughout the day to day running of businesses. Government officials and most of the Emirati population communicate well in English.

Use the form below or Click Here to Email Us Now
Is your message urgent?

  • Your Name (required)
  • Your Email (required)
  • Your Mobile
  • Subject
  • Your Message
  • Input this code           captcha

Skype Me™!